CGHS services to be extended to 100 cities: Union health minister
New Delhi: The Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) services will now be extended to 100 cities, the Union Health Minister announced on 19th December.
Currently, the scheme is operational in 72 cities through 329 allopathic wellness centres and 86 AYUSH centres. The CGHS serves 12.09 lakh primary card holders and 35.72 lakh beneficiaries, out of which around 17 lakh beneficiaries belong to Delhi-NCR, the minister said after inaugurating a CGHS wellness centre at Vikaspuri. Over 2.5 lakh beneficiaries are aged 75 years and above. About 58 per cent of CGHS beneficiaries avail facilities at least once in a year. He stated that after 2014, the number of CGHS wellness centres have expanded to 72 cities from the earlier 30, which shows the exemplary commitment of the government towards the health and wellness of employees. "Soon CGHS shall be extended to other cities like Itanagar, Kannur, and Kozhikode," he stated.
He added that recently, the ministry has elicited the feedback and suggestions from various stakeholders, beneficiaries and others to improve the delivery of health services through CGHS centres. As an innovative feature, for beneficiaries above 80 years of age, doctors from CGHS wellness centres call at least once in a month to enquire about their wellbeing or make home visit if the residence of the beneficiary resides within 5 km of the centre. The health minister said it is a reflection of the commitment to the health sector by the government, that the number of AIIMS have now increased to 21.
Six of the AIIMS are now operational, he stated. Work is on to set up 157 medical colleges mainly in "aspirational districts" of the country to ensure that people of these regions are provided superior health services, and they do not have to travel long distances to avail of them, he said. The CGHS is a contributory health scheme for serving or retired central government employees and their dependent family members. The scheme was started in 1954 in Delhi.